“I kind of just steal the compositions, but I obliterate everything else. The details are gone. Nothing is stable. Everything is moving and dripping and messy.” —Diana Al-Hadid
Watch artist Diana Al-Hadid borrow from Old Master and Italian Renaissance paintings to create a singularly hybrid artwork—transforming brushstrokes on a wall into architectural sculpture—in a new film from the ART21 New York Close Up series.
“The most freeing feeling is when I’m just moving the brush and making those strokes—when I’m completely lost in there. There’s that sense that I can express any kind of movement I want in there.” —Artist Eddie Martinez on his approach to painting, in a film from the ART21 New York Close Up series
“I loved how things behaved underwater. In the water, you can use those levitations to create different sculptures, in a way. It’s pretty spectacular.” —Alejandro Almanza Pereda
What brings an artist to leave New York City? In the latest film from the ART21 New York Close Up series, artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda decides to leave New York City for Mexico City, taking on one last project before having to vacate his Hunter College MFA studio.
IMAGES (ROWS 1–2): Alejandro Almanza Pereda. “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” video stills, 2014. Artwork courtesy of the artist. Featured in the ART21 New York Close Up film Alejandro Almanza Pereda Escapes from New York.
“There’s always a bit of that chemical mess at the edge…something that you crop off. I enjoy trying to make something out of the unwanted thing and go deeper into the disaster.” —Mariah Robertson
In a new film from the ART21 New York Close Up series, artist Mariah Robertson experiments with photographic chemistry in her Brooklyn darkroom, leading to a striking series of colorful cameraless abstractions.
Introducing the latest addition to the ART21 New York Close Up roster, artist Jamian Juliano-Villani.
“I have this obsessive relationship with my work and the way I work because it’s like my friend,” says the artist in her first series film. “It’s the thing that validates me—makes me feel good. I care about it and they care about me.”
“I started to think about photography as an activity of drawing—as a way to try to understand the world through making a picture of it. This seems to be a continuation of the historic activity of drawing.” —Lucas Blalock
Artist Lucas Blalock demonstrates his use of simple Photoshop tools to create uncanny pictures out of his large-format analog photographs in the latest film from the New York Close Up series.
“There’s this mythology that you have to sacrifice everything to be a good mom. There was a lot of extra guilt for me, that I was choosing to take myself out of [my son] Gus’s daily life; then, also guilt that I really wanted to go back to my studio.” —Ruby Sky Stiler
Artists Ruby Sky Stiler and Daniel Gordon share their experiences (so far) of being working artists with a child in the latest film from the ART21 New York Close Up series.
“My blackness—or the issues around that—has a strong effect on how my work is born and around the conversation that inevitably will happen. But I don’t think that it’s really the sum of all what my work is. Formally, I’m trying to approach art making in a way that is a part of the bigger history of art.” —Rashid Johnson
In the latest film from the ART21 New York Close Up series, artist Rashid Johnson charts a decade-long aesthetic and professional development from his early portrait photographs to his later conceptually-based sculptures made from glass, wood, and tile.
“I’m presenting my struggle—my own paranoia or neurosis…. It’s still from this totally personal, fallible point of view.” —Shana Moulton
In the 50th film from Art21’s New York Close Up series, artist Shana Moulton and composer Nick Hallett collaborate on the opera Whispering Pines 10—rehearsing and performing this one-act production at the New Museum as part of the Rhizome New Silent series.
“Knowing when to stop, knowing when to say no…all these rules that aren’t written down for you, and you have to figure it out yourself through trial and error—and I’m learning as I go.” —Jacolby Satterwhite
New in Art21’s New York Close Up series: Artist Jacolby Satterwhite works down to the wire on his latest animation, Reifying Desire 6 (2014), leading into its premiere at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. The artist is shown at work at Recess, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
“I remember times in my high school when I felt really shy. If this is the alter ego to a shy side, then I really want them to look and sustain that vision. Being inside that display case, I could roll my structure right up to an audience member, and I had the license to do this in a way I would never have if I weren’t performing. Maybe for once, I get to be the bully.” —Bryan Zanisnik
New in the ART21 New York Close Up series, artist Bryan Zanisnik describes how he draws from family and personal history in creating a work, while also shown performing A Woman Waits For Me II (2014) with his parents at Pace University in Lower Manhattan.
“Constructing a space and telling a story became more interesting to me than what the actual object was.” —Abigail DeVille
The ART21 New York Close Up series introduces three new artists to the roster today: Louise Despont, Bryan Zanisnik, and, in a film premiering here today, Abigail DeVille.
In the film, DeVille constructs an interactive installation used as the set for a performance of Adrienne Kennedy’s play, She Talks to Beethoven (1989), at the JACK arts center in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
“It doesn’t matter that we know it’s fake—it still has a pretty intense impact on us psychologically. We’re rehearsing for emotions through this material constantly.” —Liz Magic Laser
How can changing the context for a performance alter its meaning? In a new film from Art21’s New York Close Up series, artist Liz Magic Laser directs a group of actors performing theatrical scenes in public locations throughout New York City, as seen through her works chase (2009–10) and Flight (2011).